Students defying initiation ceremony ban should be expelled says father of undergraduate

Tag: Osmond

The inquest was told that Mr Farmer had joined a group of 30 students for a bar crawl around the city centre, in December 2016. He was so drunk by the end of the evening he had to be carried by other students back to another’s house.While there, the first-year students – including Mr Farmer – were expected to complete the initiation by having their heads shaved and crawling into a garage to drink vodka from a pig’s head, Karen Dilks, the coroner, was told.Dr Reuben Saharia, the head of A&E when Mr Farmer was admitted, gave evidence to the inquest, revealing that the young student was brought into hospital with a “shaved head, found to be amusing”.The student, who was taken to hospital at 5.45am on Dec 13 2016, would have likely survived had he been taken for treatment earlier, the inquest was told.A round of 100 triple vodkas had been ordered at one of the pubs on the bar crawl, the Newcastle Coroner’s Court hearing was told.The inquest heard excess alcohol caused cardiac arrest which led to brain damage and his death.Dr Sahere added that there was a spectrum of alcohol poisoning and that cardiac arrest was at the “very end of that scale”. Although Mr Farmer said he did not blame the students involved, nor the university, he claimed nobody had accepted responsibility over his son’s death.  He said: “We knew that the situation was very grave from the outset. I would agree that had he been in hospital prior to cardiac arrest then I would expect the patient to survive.” James Carr, who was the chairman of the university’s agricultural society and a second-year student at the time, told the inquest the night out was staged every year to welcome new arrivals.That was despite “initiation-style” ceremonies having been banned by the university, he said.A pre-inquest hearing into the incident last October was told that his fellow students texted each other “deny, deny deny” as the police began an investigation into the 20-year-old’s death.Mr Farmer said the initiation was “nothing to do with freshers” and added: “It’s a 40-year-old tradition and from our perspective, in cold light of day, it seems a fairly pointless practice.”Ed would not normally drink spirits and he certainly wouldn’t drink that much at his own volition.” “The brain was dead. Our reaction was well, in that case, turn him off. There is no point in keeping him alive.” Jeremy Farmer, whose son Ed died after a university initiation, wants anybody involved in future ceremonies to be expelled from university #r4Today pic.twitter.com/6etFUJgLRz— BBC Radio 4 Today (@BBCr4today) November 29, 2018 Recalling the moment he was informed his boy was in hospital, he said he heard a vehicle pulling onto his drive at 6.40am on a Tuesday morning. When he saw that it was a police car, he knew something had happened to one of his sons.  “With one son in Australia and the other in Newcastle, you sort of go down, open the door, and the name you hear – it’ll be one of them that’s in pretty serious trouble,” he told Today.  “When the police had left the house, I was 99 per cent certain that he would be a cabbage. “Helen, my wife, she was more optimistic, but certainly when we got up to the hospital they did say that he was in a very serious state. “They said they’d done a brain scan and the brain was dead. [So our reaction was] In that case, turn him off, there is no point keeping him alive.” The former pupil at the £31,000-ayear Oakham School in Rutland died the following day, with his parents, Jeremy and Helen Farmer, at his bedside. He was five times over the drinkdriving limit when he died, the inquest into his death at Newcastle Civic Centre heard in October. Students who take part in initiation ceremonies should be expelled from universities, according to a father whose son died after drinking vodka from a pig’s head at a drink-fuelled social event. Economics student Ed Farmer, 20, died after being initiated into Newcastle University’s agriculture society.He was taken by friends to hospital with a shaven head after drinking large amounts of alcohol, and his parents Jeremy and Helen Farmer decided to turn off his life support the following day when they were told their son’s brain was “dead”. Now, Mr Farmer has called for tougher sanctions against those who decide to get involved with the initiation ceremonies, which have largely been banned at universities across the country. Talking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said: “Let’s draw a line in the sand and from here on in everybody knows initiations are banned and if you step over that line you will be removed from the university.”We don’t want to be killjoys, we don’t want to take away the fun. If you drink of your own volition and kill yourself, so be it. “When you’re being co-erced into drinking by others and doing something you wouldn’t normally do, it should be something that should be looked at.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? 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